Blog Archives

Legislative Update – February 26, 2018

In case you missed it last week, we launched our brand-new super-exciting, easy-to-use, you-won’t-regret-heading-over-to-look-at, grassroots engagement tool. From this site, you can quickly and efficiently contact your elected officials. Raising your voice in support of Tennessee’s classrooms, and of the policy priorities we announced last week, is a critical part of the work we do together.

Speaking of raising your voice, there are four bills we’re watching this week. While there are plenty of bills that come up in each legislative session, we’ll only share the ones fall under one of our policy priorities in our 2018 Legislative Agenda. At the end of each session, we’ll publish our Legislative Scorecard summarizing each bill we’ve taken a position on and the way your elected officials voted on them.

House Bill 1599/SB 1649 (Forgety/Norris) – We share the same goal – making sure our kids are ready for success when they leave our classrooms. Legislation like HB 1599 helps that goal along. This bill incentivizes Tennessee’s businesses to participate in work-based learning partnerships with local school districts. We are proud to support Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs), and proud to support HB 1599.

House Bill 1870/SB 1901 (Dunn/Gresham) – Education isn’t one-size-fits-all. Whether enrolled in a traditional zoned school, charter, magnet, or iZone school, it’s critical to student success that each school have equitable access to resources. HB 1870 ensures that charter schools are given equitable access to resources intended to support special education services. We support HB 1870 and the work to make sure every student in Tennessee is ready for success.

House Bill 2203/SB 2589 (Byrd/Hensley) – Championing student growth is about learning and also knowing where they are headed. Tools like End of Course exams (EOCs) help our kids know they are on the right track for success. Parents, teachers, and students need the information from EOCs to make sure they are mastering the Tennessee-specific content we champion in our Tennessee-specific standards. HB 2203 would not only eliminate access to the valuable information that comes from EOCs; it would tie the hands of teachers, students, and parents to make certain their students are mastering what they need to be successful after high school. We oppose HB 2203.

House Bill 1609/SB 2575 (Hill, M./Hensley) – Like the legislation above, HB 1609 would remove EOCs from Tennessee’s classrooms and replace them with a nationalized assessment. We think it’s valuable for Tennessee’s kids to learn Tennessee-specific standards and be tested with a Tennessee-specific assessment. HB 1609 ushers in a national test and throws all our Tennessee work out of the testing window. We oppose HB 1609 and similar efforts to nationalize Tennessee’s classrooms.

We hope you’ll head over to our new outreach portal and share your thoughts, support, and concerns with our elected officials. We’re so grateful you continue to raise your voice for all of Tennessee’s students, teachers, and classrooms.

Legislate Update – Week of April 24, 2017

The end to the first session of the 110th General Assembly is in sight. We’re already starting to look back at the bills, votes, and filings of this session, but before we get too far into the session retrospective, we wanted to make sure you knew about a few good things happening this week (and last).

House Bill 310 passed the House last week and is on its way through the Senate process. We’ve talked a lot about the Tennessee High-Quality Charter Schools Act and why we support its passage. Because a picture says a thousand words, and a video says even more, we wanted to make sure you’d seen our video featuring our Government Relations Director live from the House Chamber last week reporting on the passage of HB 310.

We appreciate the House members who supported HB 310 and voted to pass this commonsense legislation to ensure high quality, public school choices for Tennessee’s students. Will you join us in thanking HB 310’s sponsor Representative Harry Brooks? We’re big believers of praising the good and would love your help in doing just that. Send Representative Brooks an email and thank him for supporting all Tennessee’s students.

As session winds down, the Governor’s budget proposal ramps up. Throughout the coming weeks, you’ll hear from us (here and on our social feeds) regarding education amendments included in this year’s budget. We are especially excited to see this budget invest so heavily in education through an additional $180 million to fund the BEP. Out of those recurring dollars, $100 million is designated for instruction – such as increasing salaries or hiring new positions. Stay tuned for more information as we support this year’s budget.

Last, but certainly not least, Tristar Reads is back for another summer! We’ll be sharing more details next week, but feel free to check out the brand new Tristar Reads website, like the brand new social media channels, and share this program with the summer readers (K-12) in your life.

We say this a lot, and we’ll continue to mean it, but thank you. Thanks for all you do to make sure every student in Tennessee has an opportunity to succeed.